Miracle- and SumaiL will miss the first ESL Pro Tour tournament of the year.

Nigma Galaxy has fallen short of DreamLeague Season 22 qualification after yet another defeat to Kasra "Mikey" Mesbah's squad, Winter Bear. The 2-0 defeat means Nigma Galaxy finished 4th in the MENA Closed Qualifiers.

Nigma Galaxy, DreamLeague, and more

This isn't the first time Winter Bear has dashed Nigma Galaxy's hopes. The BetBoom Dacha Dubai MENA Qualifiers proved to be another letdown for fans, as Nigma Galaxy lost 2-1 to Mikey's team. Mikey left Nigma Galaxy in late December, meaning in less than a month, he has beaten his former team twice in two separate MENA Qualifiers.

The MENA Closed Qualifier bracket for Dreamleague Season 22 (Image via Liquipedia)
The MENA Closed Qualifier bracket for Dreamleague Season 22 (Image via Liquipedia)

Nigma Galaxy's struggles are proof of the region's growing scene, and even the return of Miracle has been unable to turn the tides to qualification.

What happened to Nigma Galaxy?

The straightforward answer would be that they need to play more games together. Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi has been the captain for quite a while. However, Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan played with Team Aster for a whole season last year. During that time, Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi was retired. Their new addition, Daniel "Ghost" Chan, was very active in the Chinese Tier 1 scene last year, but we can't say the same for Roman "rmN-" Paley. The German used to be Nigma Galaxy's coach and stopped playing around mid-2022.

Draft-wise, we can see how Nigma Galaxy is still trying to push the signature Miracle- Arc Warden with some complicated results. This may change with time since they will be able to adjust to each other when they learn how to play together instead of just going for the safe route and picking comfort heroes.

Nigma Galaxy's performance with Arc Warden screenshot (Image via Dotabuff)
Nigma Galaxy's performance with Arc Warden screenshot (Image via Dotabuff)

It's worth mentioning that the MENA region has seen substantial growth in a very short time span. Team Falcons have the TI winners Oliver "skiter" Lepko and Jingjun "Sneyking" Wu. PSG.Quest also used to compete in WEU, qualifying to big tournaments like the Bali Major and Riyadh Masters. Therefore, it shouldn't be a surprise to see Mikey's Winter Bear earning some success after a season of training against them. This is what the casters had to say about this up-and-coming team after the series ended.

Can we expect Nigma Galaxy to give it another shot?

Miracle Dota 2 fans will have to wait for the next announced tournament in the calendar, which will be ESL One Birmingham. The Open Qualifiers have already been announced, and who knows, this might be the turning point for Nigma Galaxy.

It could be that Miracle just needs some time to adjust, with limited competitive matches under his belt since his return. With fewer teams competing in the MENA region, the odds might just tilt in their favor next time.

The DreamLeague Season 22 Closed Qualifiers conclude tomorrow for all regions.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest Dota 2 news and updates to find out which teams will be playing!